"early" ex. of initial "myself"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 3 12:22:35 UTC 2007

Then there's the "Me myself I VP" of BE, which carries the meaning,
"as far as I'm concerned," "with rrespect to the way that I feel about
this subject," "as for me." etc.


On 5/2/07, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at csli.stanford.edu> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "early" ex. of initial "myself"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On May 2, 2007, at 4:23 PM, Jon Lighter wrote:
> > OED has sentence-initial emphatic _myself_ from before 1375, but
> > all its examples include a stated "I" somewhere in the clause.
> > Here's one without :
> >
> >   1909 in William Elsey Connelly _Quantrill and the Border Wars_
> > (Cedar Rapids, Ia.: Torch Press, 1910) 362: The guerrillas sacked
> > Lawrence just before sunrise....Myself and family were yet in bed
> > and asleep.
> you can google up plenty of modern examples of this sort (with
> "myself" as the first conjunct in a coordinate subject).  the writer/
> speaker is foregrounded in the narrative, and the second conjunct
> denotes some set of others in relation to the writer/speaker.  and
> only occasionally is there an "I" in the clause that follows.
> Myself and many other scientists in the area are alarmed that...
> Myself and all the other hosts are...
> Myself and my family are able to handle the hazards...
> Myself and the other female candidates were very optimistic about
> being able to go all the way through to the actual elections.
> there are also plenty of examples with "myself" as the second
> conjunct in a subject.  also plenty of object examples (with both
> orders of conjuncts).
> for non-coordinate NPs, there's an asymmetry: a fair number of
> examples of object "myself" (especially in things like "a person like
> myself"), none of subject "myself" (*"Myself can solve the
> problem").  my idea about this asymmetry relates "myself" to "me":
> "myself" is a kind of emphatic counterpart to "me", so it can occur
> where "me" can (including the non-standard coordinate subjects with
> "me", like "Me and my family are..."), and it can't occur where "me"
> can't (*"Me can solve the problem").  that is, "me" and "myself" are
> both ACC pronouns (contrasting with NOM "I"), differing in some
> discoursy property, and ACC pronouns cannot serve as the complete
> subject of a finite clause.
> arnold
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